Minnesota’s fourth coronavirus outbreak occurred more than three months ago and continues to rise with 4,253 new infections and 34 more COVID-19 deaths, which were reported on Monday by the state health department.
The seven-day moving average of test positivity is again above 8 percent, and the number of recorded deaths is about 24 per day. The number of outbreaks has not been that high since January, at the end of the state’s largest spike, when most people were not eligible for vaccinations.
Minnesota has reported 819,239 coronavirus cases since March 2020, with more than 8,600 people contracting the virus more than once. About 96 percent of people who test positive have recovered enough to no longer be isolated.
On Monday, 34 deaths were recorded, bringing the death toll to 8,862. The most recent deaths to be reported have ranged from 20 to over 100 years. Twenty-four people lived in private homes, nine in long-term care, and one in a motel.
Hospital capacity remains limited in most of the state. 990 patients were hospitalized on Friday, including 227 in critical condition.
An estimated 24,400 people with active infections are recovering at home.
Health officials say vaccines are the best way to avoid serious infections and slow the spread of the coronavirus. Of the 3.2 million fully vaccinated Minnesota residents, about 2 percent reported a fracture.
However, breakthrough infections continue to rise, with 64,844 registered so far this year, of which 2,956 have been hospitalized and 483 have died. Breakout cases account for 16 percent of all infections reported in 2021, as well as nearly 15 percent of hospital admissions and nearly 14 percent of deaths this year.
Health officials acknowledge that the effectiveness of the vaccine diminishes over time. Revaccination is recommended for people who are particularly susceptible to serious illness due to underlying medical conditions or other factors.
Minnesota has administered 7 million doses of the vaccine, including almost 524,000 booster doses. Children aged 5 to 11 were eligible for the vaccine just last week, and about 67 percent of all eligible Minnesota residents received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The rate of new infections remains high among school-aged children and is rising again among middle-aged Minnesotans, about a third of whom are unvaccinated.